IT and security managers have found themselves increasingly needing to better understand the world of digital forensics. This world has become more important as the probability of being breached continues to approach near-certainty, and as organizations need to better prepare themselves for legal actions and other post-breach consequences.
In this post for CSOonline, I describe the basics behind digital forensics, the kinds of specialized tools that are required, links to appropriate resources to learn more and a checklist of various decisions that you will need to consider if you are going to be more involved in this field. It is not just about understanding the legal consequences of a breach, but also in being properly prepared before a breach occurs. And something that you need to get your head around: lawyers can be your friends in these circumstances.
The 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report says most hacks still happen through breaches of web applications. For this reason, testing and securing applications (from my CSOonline article last month) has become a priority for many organizations. That job is made easier by a growing selection of application security tools. I put together a list of 13 of the best ones available, with descriptions of the situations where they can be most effective. I highlight both commercial and free products. The commercial products very rarely provide list prices and are often bundled with other tools from the vendor with volume or longer-term licensing discounts. Some of the free tools, such as Burp Suite, also have fee-based versions that offer more features. You can review my list in CSOonline here.
Application security is the process of making apps more secure by finding, fixing, and enhancing the security of apps. Much of this happens during the development phase, but it includes tools and methods to protect apps once they are deployed. This is becoming more important as hackers increasingly target applications with their attacks.
In the first of a two-part series for CSOonline, I discuss some of the reasons why you need to secure your apps and the wide variety of specialized tools for securing mobile apps, for network-based apps, and for firewalls designed especially for web applications. Next month, I will recommend some of these products.
This has been quite a year for data breaches, with reports that numerous unsecured Amazon Web Services storage containers were inadvertently made public, a rise in hidden cryptomining malware, and lots of victims continuing to fall for ransomware and other botnet attacks. So, with that context, let’s look at what security trends 2019 could bring and ways to prepare for the coming year. I cover security awareness training, hiding malware in plain sight with fileless and other techniques, the rise of FIDO2 and better cloud security in my story in HPE’s Enterprise.nxt blog.
One of the best takeaways I got from attending the RSA Archer Summit 2018 this past September was to listen to customers tell their stories about their deployments. I have put together a series of tips based on this testimony from several IT managers who have been using the product for many years. Some of them have asked me to obscure their identity, but the message rings true. You can read their suggestions here.
Yes, just like last October, this month we celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. So let’s look at what happened in the past year since we last honored this manufactured “holiday.”
We started off 2018 with more than three million records breached by Jason’s Deli, moved into spring with five million records from Saks/Lord&Taylor and 37 million care of Panera Bread restaurants. May saw breaches from fitness tracking company PumpUp and clothing retailer UnderArmor. July was a new low point with breaches from Ticketfly, the Sacramento Bee newspaper chain, and MyHeritage. And let’s not forget Exactis with 340 million records placed online.
And there are many, many other companies who have been breached that I haven’t even mentioned. The issue is that with security awareness, you are only as good as yesterday’s response. In this post for RSA’s blog, I have several suggestions on ways to make this month more meaningful and actionable for IT managers.
Drupal is a leading open source content management tool that hosts a significant portion of the most popular websites on the internet. If you have not heard about the Drupal security flaws from earlier this year, then you need to take a closer look at what happened and start taking precautions to protect your own installations. You can read my post in IBM’s Security Intelligence blog here.
Last month the US DoJ unsealed this indictment of a North Korean spy Park Jin Hyok that they claim was behind the hacks against Sony and the creation and distribution of Wanna Cry. It is a 170+ page document that was written by Nathan Shields of the FBI’s LA office and shows the careful sequence of forensic analysis they used to figure out how various attacks were conducted. In this post for CSOonline, I talk about some of the implications for IT managers, based on the extensive details described in the indictment.
Properly testing your virtual infrastructure has been an issue almost since there were virtual VMs and AWS. Lately, the tool sets have gotten better. Part of the problem is that to adequately test your AWS installation, you need to know a lot about how it is constructed. CPUs can come and go, and storage blocks are created and destroyed in a blink of an eye. And as the number of AWS S3 data leaks rises, there have to better ways to protect things. Rhino Security and Amazon both offer tools to improve visibility into your AWS cloud environments, making it easier to find configuration errors and vulnerabilities.I write about Pacu and CloudGoat tools as well as various AWS services to test your VMs in my article from CSOonline here.
I have written for this excellent 20 year-old publication occasionally. My article in this issue is about fileless malware.
Malware authors have gotten more clever and sneaky over time to make their code more difficult to detect and prevent. One of the more worrying recent developments
goes under the name “fileless.” There is reason to worry because these kinds of attacks can do more damage and the malware can persist on your computers and networks for weeks or months until they are finally neutralized. Let’s talk about what this malware is and how to understand it better so we can try to stop it from entering our
networks to begin with. Usually, the goal of most malware is to leave something behind on one of your endpoints: one or more files that contain an executable program that can damage your computer, corral your PC as part of a botnet, or make copies of sensitive data and move them to an external repository. Over the years, various detection products have gotten better at finding these residues, as they are called, and blocking them.
You can read my article here, along with other fine pieces on the state of the Internet in this month’s edition.